Who is Renée? 10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me
My Insta-friend Bernadette tagged me in a "10 things you don't know about me" post back in December and I've been thinking about it ever since. The idea of the post is to help people get to know you by revealing 10 facts about you that they (said people) probably don't already know. Yes, there's a bunch of things on my About Me page but you already know that. So naturally, I had questions. "What do I want to put out there? What should I put out there because my mom will read this? Am I really ready to reveal more of my dorkdom to the world?" I finally settled on the list below.
If you are like me and you're working on increasing your own self-awareness, this type of exercise can be incredibly helpful in doing that. It forces you to think about who you are, really. Not your social profile or your "public persona", but like, YOU. Your fundamentals. The stuff that sticks. When I finished, I took a step back and looked at my list and thought, "ah, YES. There you are."
10 Heretofore Untrumpeted Things About Me
I'm a financial markets nerd. Anything to do with behavioural finance, the evolution of the markets, crashes, good guys vs. bad guys, Wall Street etc. I eat those stories up. Michael Lewis is on my bookshelf many times over. I'm fascinated by the personalities involved, how people perceive and act on risk, greed, hubris, and heroics. And let's be honest, I love learning about smart people doing super-dumb and/or evil things and the other smart people who try every day to do the opposite. It's like Star Wars but with more graphs and a stock ticker.
I love storytelling and film heroes and grumpy actors so much I named my kid after two of the grumpiest dudes out there: Tyson's middle names are Russell Harrison. Yep, as in Crowe and Ford. No one in my family was surprised. His first name, however, is not in reference to Mike Tyson. For so many reasons.
In my youth I was a competitive equestrian: 3-Day Eventing was my thing. For those unfamiliar, eventing combines dressage, cross-country endurance/jumping, and show jumping. It's hard and you need an exceptional horse-rider partnership and a very tight conditioning schedule to be successful. Eventing is partly how I honed my skills in developing and executing training plans. I started young and haven't stopped since. My horse's name was Bickers (he came with it) and Bick was amazing and beautiful and would regularly stuck out his tongue then chew on it for like 10 minutes straight. We all have quirks.
I adore puzzles. Like, actual puzzles that you put together piece by piece on your kitchen table. They need to be challenging and take at least a couple of days to finish. I don't care what the puzzle is. It could be a dog on a skateboard or a Monet. It just can't be too basic. Doing puzzles is my at-home equivalent of going on vacation. Everything else pretty much shuts off, and I'm only thinking about the puzzle in the moment. This piece, and then the next. I get right into it. Perry thinks my intense puzzle focus is funny. And a bit weird. But mostly funny.
Birds make me happy. I've never had a bird, so I don't know what they're like as companions, but funny pictures and videos of birds and doc series like Planet Earth that show birds in the wild trying to mate and going through all kinds of pains to so - that $%&t cracks me up. They're just so elaborate, concurrently awkward and graceful. Birds elicit joy from me. They can make me laugh instantly. Perry also finds it funny that I think birds are funny, and he likes when I laugh, so he bought me the little guy in the photo 👆🏼in Florida to make me laugh whenever I look at it. His name is Bird. I added the pun. If you're close to my age or older, give it a second. You'll get it.
My Master of Arts thesis was on work-life balance (YEAH RIGHT) for female university faculty. I conducted my research study and completed my thesis while on maternity leave. A few years later I completed my MBA in strategic management while working FT and raising my young son just after my divorce (he was 4 when I started it). So I'm kind of an expert in badass women balancing all the things and getting %$#@ done and the rewards and challenges around that, FYI.
After I became old enough to start directing the purchase of my clothes consistently I decided I would not wear pink. "It's too girly and therefore lame," was my reasoning as a self-proclaimed tomboy. Except in very rare cases (coercion), I didn't wear pink from when I was like 11 or so till, oh, my early 30s. I was the Edna Mode of pink. NO PINK! I now wear pink because it turns out that it's pretty flattering on me and sometimes the belief systems we develop as children are kind of dumb, in the end.
I love the airport. Dropping people off, picking people up. The waiting area where people get all excited when they see each other. The planes taking off and landing. Flying fascinates me. I'm scared of crashing, and I do experience some anxiety while flying because of this fear, but I'm simultaneously so impressed by the science of it all. How a bunch of people got together and built on each other's ideas and work and now we shoot big, winged tubes full of people into the air and across the sky so we can experience the world and connect with the ones we love and start life anew, over there. And man, don't get me started on space.
Anything involving anatomy also fascinates me, and by that I mean that I love watching TV shows and looking at pictures or vids where there's surgery or body part things happening because I love all the gross. I follow this amazing woman on Instagram who posts all sorts of photos and videos about what she sees in her pathology work, like odd cases and autopsies and all that. It's very respectful and highly educational but decidedly not for the squeamish. I love it. I'll be checking her feed and yelling "Look at this tumour that has teeth and hair! This is the coolest thing ever. LOOK AT IT!" and waving the phone at Perry because I know he is totally disgusted by this kind of thing so I want to wind him up a little. Unlike many other things, Perry does not think this is funny, but I do.
One of my most favourite things ever is talking with Perry about storytelling. We dissect films and shows on the regular, and have spent hours - days - having discussions that twist every which way. He understands and is loyal to the fundamentals of storytelling and character development more than anyone I know, which is saying something because I worked in that world and met some very talented humans doing some very cool stuff. He teaches me so much, all the time, and in doing so enables me to improve how I tell *my stories. But more than that, more than the learning, is the joy. We just thrive during these discussions. All of our best qualities come out to play together, and it's the most energizing, positive, beautiful tapestry that we weave. Talking about story the way we do is one of those things that makes us, us. I think we love each other just a little bit more because of it. Connection is everything. Here's to the ties that bind.
Try Yourself On For Size
So that's some of me, for now. I hope you stuck it out and have not closed your screen in horror and walked (run) quickly from the room. Regardless, I invite you to try this yourself. It's fun, and you may learn something about yourself along the way. Be authentic, be open, but be careful. Because Moms.
Now, excuse me, I need to go work on my puzzle.